KDE4.6 RC2 Review and Screenshots

Hi all,

KDE4.6 RC2 is already out and available for download and usage. Many distro have populated their repos already and upgrade may be available through package manager. If you are on openSUSE, you can read this post to install/update/upgrade to KDE4.6. This is just my personal views and experience with RC2, not necessary to be the same with others.

Now lets take a look on 4.6, that what it brings for us. There are/will be many things which may be i don’t know of to share here, but what i know will share of course. Lets start from the plus points:

– It is FAST, yup you read that right, it is FAST and really fast than previous versions like 4.5, 4.4 etc.

– Kwin rocks in this series, desktop effects are improved a lot and can be used heavily. I myself using it and never experience this type of improvement in Kwin before. New effects are also added, i can’t mention them here check out it yourself in system settings -> desktop effects.

– Settings for many applications are simplified for usage like power management settings, desktop settings, system settings itself.

– What really impressed me is the search function in dolphin without enabling Nepomuk service. Open dolphin and use ctrl+F to bring search box with options, and try search for any thing. Another plus is that now it can also show you folders, which i was waiting for so long. I am pretty sure, you will be impressed too from its fast searching capability.

– Sound is back(it was not working in RC1, but was hacked later and was usable).

ATM that’s all, i may be missed some thing. But i would say, explore it and share it. You will be a satisfied KDE user i am sure.

Some minor bugs, which of course can be tagged as because this is still beta software. KDE4.6 final will be released on 26 of Jan 2011.

– Power management does not keep the value of screen brightness every time i start plasma(may be its just me).

– Crash report after closing dolphin(annoying one).

– Go to screen saver mode while watching videos.

And that’s that, if you experience more than this, please share with us.

Oh… yeh.. here are the screen shots. Check it out.

openSUSE 11.2 Review

openSUSE 11.2 is released on last Thursday with a bang. 11.2 is loaded with latest softwares. Its running on my system ATM, and faster than ever.

Now lets review some stuff from 11.2.

1- Installation:

I had downloaded KDE desktop live CD, burn it and boot system from it. Till desktop every thing was very smooth. Then i jump to installation part. Installation steps were very easy to follow specially partitioning stuff(even a new user can play with it now). Installation was quite organized in all aspects.

2- Boot time:

Boot time is amazingly changed and it was super fast than 11.1. After several restarts and installation of softwares did not even change the boot time till desktop loading.

Startup time was 39.42 seconds from start until desktop loaded without auto login(i entered password in this time).

Restart time was around 21.86 seconds.

Shut down time is almost the same as restart time, it was 21.63 seconds.

3- Latest softwares:

openSUSE 11.2 is loaded with latest softwares, some of them are:

  • GIMP 2.6.7
  • OpenOffice 3.1.1 (build 3.1.1.4)
  • Firefox 3.5.4
  • Amarok 2.1.1
  • Dolphin 1.3
  • Konqueror 4.3.1
  • Konsole(Terminal) 2.3.1
  • Kopete 0.80.2
  • KRDC 4.3.1
  • Network Manager 0.7.1
  • K3b 1.68.0
  • KTorrent 3.2.4
  • Okular 0.9.1
  • KGet 2.3.1
  • Ark 2.13
  • KWrite 4.3.1
  • and many more…

4- Repositories:

By default there were three repositories enabled excluding source and debug. The priorities are changed to 99 in 11.2. By default these repos were enabled:

  • OSS
  • NON-OSS
  • Update

5- Multimedia:

We need to add repos for multimedia or download softwares sources and compile it later for use. But in openSUSE, there is packman repo which serve almost every multimedia stuff we need. This repo can be added through software repositories -> community repos -> Packman from Yast. All the video codecs can be found in this repo. VLC and Smplayer are handy players in Linux, so installing these two players will install all the codecs by itself. So multimedia is no issue here, good job from this team.

6- Yast:

As always Yast is in talks of all communities from every distro around. Yast improved a lot by adding search capability, and faster installation with more stable platform. Webpin is added to software section which provide community softwares with latest builds, a great achievement from openSUSE community. In software section ‘Software Management’ has some new features/changes.

Lets explore them:

  • Search: Search packages through variety of search options like: Name, Keyword, Summary, Description, RPM(provides,requires), File list. Can also change the search mode from a drop down menu to make the search criteria more selective.
  • RPM Group: Shows different RPM packages for softwares.
  • Installation Summary: A very handy tab to check which software are going to be installed.
  • Repositories: can view packages from different repos.
  • Languages: can install different languages from here.
  • Packages Group: Packages organized by group.
  • Patterns: showing packages from different patterns, like LAMP stack can install a complete web server.

A general conclusion: Yast is much better tool and package manger in openSUSE, but is improved more than before in 11.2 as expected. A more mature and stable tool around now. The konsole mode with zypper provide faster functionality than before and handy command line command for servers with init3.

YaSTImproved YaST with search text box

Software managementImproved software management

7- KDE4 implementation in 11.2:

Sorry to Gnome users, i cannot write any thing about Gnome here, its because i am fan of KDE and using it for a long time. But as like before Gnome implementation with that dark theme was great as i saw in screen shots.

KDE4 is now default desktop for openSUSE 11.2 and maybe onwards. KDE implementation is always known as trademark for openSUSE. KDE implementation was great in 11.1 too but KDE4 was not mature enough to serve new users and there were a lot of crashes which was a bit annoying. So was not recommended for new users, but KDE 3.5.10 was great as it is now too. And most openSUSE fans used 3.5.10 in 11.1. But when KDE 4.2 was launched, it was more stable release than 4.1 and was recommended to update 11.1 KDE4 to latest version.

KDE4 is a major desktop revolution from KDE team and KDE 4.3 is much more stable release till to date in KDE4 series, faster and usable by new users too. openSUSE 11.2 includes 4.3.1 release 6 by default. openSUSE team and devs did a great job to port KDE to openSUSE 11.2 in a different way from other distros, looks more polished and attractive. Great work devs.